Indiana man who abused animals asks for prison release if he undergoes chemical castration

Michael Bessigano

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. — A man from northwest Indiana who has a history of sexually abusing animals is asking a federal judge to release him from prison if he goes through with a chemical castration.

The Northwest Indiana Times reports Hobart man Michael Bessigano, 47, made the request in a court filing this week. He is currently in custody for violating conditions of his supervised release following a 2009 obscenity conviction.

Bessigano has a history of bestiality dating back to 1993 in which he was found guilty of breaking into a barn and killing a dog, according to the Northwest Indiana Times.

Bessigano was sentenced to 33 months in federal prison in 2009 for downloading bestiality pornography. In 2013, he was arrested for sexually abusing a guinea fowl. One year later in 2014, he was arrested for stealing a bird.

Bessigano’s attorney Jennifer Soble says his conduct is “motivated by sexual desire, not by sadism or any desire to hurt animals.” In exchange for his release, Bessigano will undergo therapy and monthly injections of a testosterone-reducing drug, Depo-Lupron.

According to court documents, Bessigano has been evaluated by an attending physician at Johns Hopkins Hospital, who recommended chemical castration over more prison time.

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